Rescue operation removes 400 tonnes of waste contaminated with oil near Budapest

Water management experts have removed more than 400 tonnes of waste contaminated with oil at a rainwater canal at Szigetszentmiklos that leads into the Rackeve branch of the Danube in the outskirts of Budapest.

Another 14,000 litres of water contaminated with oil and pumped into plastic tanks will be removed by a firm later in the day from the site south of Budapest where a large amount of used oil was poured into the canal last week, according to the national water management directorate OVF.

The Central Danube Water Directorate was alerted by a member of the public about the massive oil pollution in the Szigetszentmiklos rainwater canal outlet and in the reeds on December 12. The authority said it found “a large quantity of dark, dense hydrocarbon derivative at the estuary of the Rackeve branch”.

It said that the oil was “present in the water along the entire length of the canal, as well as in the vegetation on a 2,000sqm area with a thickness between 2 and 5 centimetres”. A police investigation is under way, the authority said.

Water management experts are carrying out the contaminated waste removal in partnership with experts of a local nature conservation authority from the site which is under nature protection, OVF said in a statement.

A rehabilitation plan for a 1,836sqm area of contaminated land has already been prepared, it said.

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